Saturday, 30 April 2011

Two recent additions to the collection.

Two recent additions to the collection.

1. is a scarce Sherlock Holmes Lestrade Sandblast tapered fishtail stem. I am a great fan of the Lestrade in its various guises,however I find this one particularly appealing,not only aesthetically but also from a practical point of view. The tapered fishtail stem in my opinion improves the pipes draw and aides the cleaning process by allowing the easier passage of a pipe cleaner.

2. is the Peterson Dalkey B11 Fishtail .The Peterson 'B' series indicates a shape which is debate-ably more eccentric than their classic counterparts. However, the B11 shape, is a lovely, large bent brandy sitter,which in my opinion is far from being unusual. To my mind it is aesthetically very pleasing. It is also very comfortable in the hand and like all B11's, it is deceptively lighter than it looks. The pipe here, is part of the new Dalkey series which features an attractive rich hazel stain,which is complemented by an orange coloured ring at the shank.

Special Reserve 2011

 I purchased a tin of the latest Peterson tobacco offering , the Special Reserve 2011.
Here are my initial thoughts.

The mixture comes in the usual 100 gram tin with a black and white game board pattern as the main graphic illustration on the tin cover.On opening the tin, rather too easily,the tobacco mixture is contained in a clear cellophane pouch which is held closed by a simple sticky label.
The advertising information on the blend is as follows,quote:-

"Brown and black Cavendish together with red, orange and bright Virginia tobaccos melt together.
Then a sensational aroma of wild strawberries is added, combined with cream and the sweetish flavour of tonka beans, delicious in both scent and taste combine to create this fantastic mixture". Price: £20.50(UK)

I loaded up a great little Peterson Kenmare 999 pipe to test this one.
The air cured mixture is a broken flake mix of Black Cavendish and golden Virginia,which was not too moist and loaded up nicely in the bowl with little initial tamping being required.
The initial smells from the mixture are an aromatic smokers delight. With the scent from the Tonka (Tonquin) beans  being very much to the fore.
Tonquin is still used today to flavor some other pipe tobaccos like Dunhill Royal Yacht and Samuel Gawith 1792 Flake.
I had no problem lighting up and only gave a soft tamp to get the blend going easily.I would suspect that if your smoking cadence got too fast and greedy , that this could turn round and bite the tongue.My initial impression was that this is very similar to many of the other recent Peterson limited edition offerings. It is a reasonably good, competent aromatic,with a difference, brought about by the inclusion of the Tonquin .To my personal taste it was a bit like fast food,you feel you are missing something for complete satisfaction, in this instance too weak for my taste and lacking a stronger nicotine kick.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Celebrating my new Smoking Seat.

As most of the regular Pete Nuts are aware, I have some mobility issues.I do not venture far around the adjoining area or countryside,confining myself to the garden and house frontage.
My good lady wife recently commissioned a local handyman to construct a suitable small seat at our house driveway for me to enjoy, while smoking my pipe.
It blends in nicely with our house and wall and is very pleasant to sit and enjoy on a good sunny day.I am very pleased with it.

Well,I just had to have an Easter smoke on it!

For those that are interested the pipe I am smoking in the photo is a Peterson Limited edition Sandblast 2008 Pipe of the Year.
When this pipe was first issued it received mixed reviews from Pete enthusiasts,I could never understand the main criticism that it was 'ugly'.I purchased the sandblast finish illustrated here which I personally feel is a very handsome pipe and contrasts beautifully with the amazing quality Celtic scroll silver-work.
The pipe itself is again a favourite size and shape,a large elegant version of Petersons shape 69 topped off with the Bowl silver embellishment.
This pipe is in fact one of my best smokers and only comes out for 'special' occasions.Which this was!Happy Easter everyone.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Peterson Churchwarden Pipes.

Churchwarden Pipes.

I recently bought a couple of new Peterson Churchwarden pipes. The main reason being, that I did not have any representation of them in my Peterson collection of pipes. It was never a series of pipes that held any attraction to me,as I perceived that they were very fragile and totally impractical. However as with most prejudices my fears were to be proven without foundation.

The Churchwarden style of pipe are one of the earliest pipe shapes and still remain very popular. The overall length of the mouthpiece is said to ensure a pleasant cool smoke, which is particularly suitable for an evenings relaxation. It really should fall into the same category as the Peterson 'House Pipes' which are basically for confinement to house use.

In Elizabethan times the pipes were made from clay and were graceful with thin bowls and long stems. The Dutch redesigned these clays by enlarging the bowl and lengthening the stem and came to be known as the Alderman and was officially introduced by William II around 1700. The Alderman was adopted by the English and was graced with a curve to the stem and called "Yard of Clay" or "Churchwarden" as it's better known as today. The purpose of the long stem was to allow the smoker to rest his hand and bowl on the arm of the chair, the small knob on the bottom of the bowl was to stop the hot clay bowl from burning the chair arm, the knob reputedly for he benefit of the pipe maker, became more of an aesthetic part of the shorter pipes rather than a requirement in later times. This same style can be seen in many of Petersons early Patent pipes.

Churchwardens were in vogue with the upper-classes of the Elizabethan times, the more common man would smoke a short pipe, often made shorter by snapping the end of the stem off due mainly to the "shared house pipes" in the Taverns and ale houses, these pipes were there for the enjoyment of the customers and by snapping the end off separated themselves from the previous smoker. Churchwarden pipes essentially have a long stem which gives an extra-cool smoke, producing a cooler smoke due to the distance smoke must travel from the bowl to the mouthpiece. They have the added benefit of keeping the users face further away from the heat and smoke produced by combustion in the bowl. Clay pipes and tobacco were often provided after dinners at taverns or at Club meetings and would be used for one evening only.

Clay pipes could quite easily break so the shorter pipe was more appropriate for the workplace.
Back in the 1700 and 1800s, when pipe smoking was allowed in churches, is where this style of pipe began its life. Designed to rest on the back of church pews, the modern-day briar versions capture a piece of that history.
Churchwardens pipes were reputedly named after the Churchwardens who used to put their pipes long stem out of the church windows so they could smoke in church.
It was the mid 1800's before the Churchwarden pipe was transformed from clay with the introduction of the wood briar.

The Ebony D6 which I have just acquired, is one of the sweetest smoking pipes I have ever enjoyed right out of the box. The pipe is dry as a nut. The wood has obviously been well cured and cared for.

So whether you are interested in churchwarden pipes because you just like the way they look or your have seen them in movies such as 'Sherlock Holmes' or 'Lord of the Rings', they make a very cool display piece or an everyday smoker.

Ebony D6.

Churchwarden smooth prince.

Monday, 18 April 2011

New Irish Web Site.- Sad News!

It is with great sadness that I have to report the demise of Denis Foley's new Irish Peterson site.
Here is a note from Denis.
" has now closed for business. I would just like to thank all my customers over the last few months and everyone who helped in promoting the site. I decided to close when Peterson contacted me to say they had got some complaints from other online pipe dealers that my prices were too low and that the name was confusing people into thinking I was the actual peterson pipes in dublin. I don't blame Peterson for wanting me to change this as they have to protect their large customers first and also protect the brand. However, changing the name now would mean becoming totally invisible again, wiping out the last couple of months work. Also upping my prices would mean getting rid of any advantage I had in the first place. Peterson have been very fair and supportive of me and I have no problems with how they treated me. Thanks again. Denis"

Saturday, 16 April 2011

New Easter Treats.

New Easter Treats.

Spring is in the air and can cause strange behaviour,like going on a Pete pipe buying spree!!

I decided that I needed an Easter treat to get me functioning on all cylinders again!
Here are some of my latest acquisitions to assist in my recovery from the winter blues.
First one is from the River series, a Red River Erne.

Next is a stunning Royal Irish XL02.

Next is a Kenmare B10.

 Followed by a cute little rustic Barrel flake pipe.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Stop Press! - New Peterson Products.

I had to terminate my Easter break.Good reason to do so,Peterson contacted me to give advance notice of a host of marvellous goodies.Oh joy of Joy!

Lead Times for each item. 

Pipe of the Year Tobacco May 2011
Pipe of the Year 2011 June 2011
Molly Malone – 2 Pipe Set June 2011
Around the World Collection June 2011
Sherlock Holmes – 4 Pipes Set June 2011
Summertime Tobacco June 2011
Holiday Season Pipes and Tobaccos October 2011


Here are some examples ,to be discussed in detail at future times.Enjoy me hearties!